|The penguin exhibit is a favorite|
for all ages.
This public aquarium provides an entertaining and educational experience for both children and adults utilizing tanks that collectively hold 10 million gallons of water and display more than 500 species of fish and other sea creatures.
|The moving sidewalk takes visitors|
under an ocean of fish.
We took our time strolling through the aquarium’s five galleries: Tropical Diver, filled with thousands of brilliantly colored fish; Ocean Voyager, which features the first manta ray on display in the U.S.; Cold Water Quest, with graceful beluga whales, brightly colored garibaldi damselfish (Deepo is the aquarium’s mascot); River Scout, displaying otters and other river species; and Dolphin Tales, where we watched agile dolphins perform enthralling tricks in the AT&T Dolphin Tales show.
|Swimming in the ocean--at least pretending to do so.|
|Colorful fish are fascinating to watch.|
Visitors can even swim or SCUBA dive with zebra sharks, bowmouth guitarfish, pompano, rays, and many more species in a special Ocean Voyager program called Journey with Gentle Giants. It’s the only opportunity in the world where you’ll be in the water with the whale shark, largest fish in the world.The aquarium was a vision of businessman Bernard Marcus, who donated initial funds to build and stock the facility. Marcus claims that his 60th birthday dinner at the Monterey Bay Aquarium inspired him and his wife to visit 56 aquariums in 13 countries before donating $250 million for the Georgia Aquarium.
|A hands-on drumming |
exhibit created sound waves.
In addition to providing a quality attraction for Atlanta, Marcus wanted a facility that would pursue aquatic conservation and research. The aquarium, distinguished by its blue metal and glass exterior that reminds people of a giant ark breaking through a wave, is located in downtown Atlanta on land donated by The Coco-Cola Company. It is open 365 days a year, usually from 10-5 on Sunday-Friday and 9-6 on Saturday. Hours of operation vary, however, so check for exact times at www.georgiaaquarium.org.
|A singular jellyfish in the|
clear blue water.
Photos by Beverly Burmeier